Friday, 17 January 2014

Only The Good Die Young Avengers

Or on the glorious/tragic end of Young Avengers 
by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matt Wilson, others; Marvel Comics

Young Avengers is over. I am overjoyed, I am crushed.

I'm happy because Endings are IMPORTANT. For a story to have catharsis, to really have dramatic weight it has to conclude, it has to have something approaching finality. Superhero comics are, by their very nature, comics that do not end. As a result they are stories that are often denied the dramatic finality of stories. But sometimes, glorious sometimes, a particular creative run gets the opportunity to tell a complete story, and to end it in a way that provides a cathartic ending. And I absolutely love that Young Avengers was able to end so perfectly, so completely. 

I am crushed because I am really going to fucking miss this book. Young Avengers was one of my favourite comics during its run. The story was consistently fun and exciting and heartfelt. The artwork was always beautiful and experimental and a treasure trove of cool comics tricks. Young Avengers was a comic that would always throw something surprising our way: some wonderful plot twist or some never before seen piece of comics magic. It was also a deeply thoughtful comic filled with meta-thematic ideas about youth and authorship and a dozen other things layered into a story that was deliberately interacting with social media in a really interesting way. Young Avengers was a great comic that was as fascinating to read as it was fun. I'll miss it.

I'm happy that Young Avengers ended because I'm not sure the magic was sustainable. Quality and quantity are not necessarily mutually exclusive, but they often are at odds. Young Avengers danced like it was on fire: it packed an enormous amount of action and feeling into every issue. Team Young Avengers was also able to show us comics we'd never (or seldom) seen before while also delivering jaw-dropping plot twist after jaw-dropping plot twist. (YA holds the distinction of the comic I read immediately just to avoid internet spoilers.) I can't help but feel that level of creative experimentation and that constant parade of surprises could only be sustained for so long, eventually Young Avengers had to start looking more like a conventional comic. And I am forever grateful that Team YA decided to quit while they were still on top. Live Fast Die Young.

I am crushed because Young Avengers was reliably interesting to write about. Part of writing a regularly updating blog is that you have to come up with content every damn week. Preferably this is content that is fun to write and interesting for other people to read. And Young Avengers was a comic that I could count on every single issue to be super interesting, to show me cool comics process or provide some sort of nifty meta comment. It was ALWAYS fun to write about and with all the passionate, awesome fans, it was also a comic people were interested in reading about. (And Team YA has been super generous with signal boosts, for which I am forever grateful.) I am sincerely going to miss the enjoyable challenge of trying to criticize Young Avengers. 

I'm happy because the Young Avengers thematically HAD to end. One of the main thematic aspects of Young Avengers is, well, youth. Youth by it's very nature is impermanent, it's fleeting nature is part of what gives it its size, and impetuous, and magic. And a comic that is ABOUT this state of youth-on-the-cusp of adulthood can't carry on, can't become just another perpetually ongoing comic without destroying the magic of youth. Young Avengers have to grow up to be Avengers, they can't be Young forever. It is perfect that Young Avengers ends.

I can't wait to see the next thing Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, and Matt Wilson cook up. Because it's going to be spectacular. 

Favouring The Young Avengers #15
Favouring The Young Avengers #14
Favouring The Young Avengers #13

Favouring The Young Avengers #12 (pt. 2)
Favouring The Young Avengers #12 (pt. 1)
Favouring The Young Avengers #11
Favouring The Young Avengers #10
Favouring The Young Avengers #8
Favouring The Young Avengers #7

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